Nigerian music lovers lost a great figure and pioneer this week. Musician William Onyeabor, 70, passed away on Monday (Jan. 16) — according to numerous sources. At press time, the cause of William’s death had not yet been announced.The musician is survived by his wife, four children and four grandchildren.
The electro-funk artist didn’t receive international attention until decades after his first album, Crashes In Love, was released in 1977. Thanks to songs like “Atomic Bomb” and “Better Change Your Mind,” which all appeared on the compilation album, Who is William Onyeabor?, Onyebar was introduced to new fans internationally.
David Byrne, of Luaka Bop label, announced Onyeabor’s death on Facebook. “It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we have to announce that the great Nigerian business leader and mythic music pioneer William Onyeabor has passed away at the age of 70,” the label wrote.
The 2014 mini-documentary Fantastic Man also further popularized Onyearbor’s music.